At Rage Yoga, we know that sticking to a goal or a resolution can be tricky.
Actually, let me rephrase that…
Seeing a goal or a resolution through to the end can be a downright bitch!
When we first decide to tackle a goal we often start off feeling inspired by it. This inspiration can turn us into the Energizer Bunny! We’re so excited and motivated that we can almost taste the final result. But then the inevitable happens. We hit some bumps, we get tired and suddenly that goal seems much less shiny.
This is normal!
It doesn’t mean we’re lazy or flaky. It means we’re human.
But when things get hard (as they will) how we handle it makes all the difference.
You will either work through the fog or you’ll fall off track.
In other words: you’ll either persevere to complete your goal or you’ll give up somewhere along the way.
So how do we make sure we stay on track? How can we be sure that we will succeed?
The foundation of any success is habit.
We are creatures of habit! Brushing teeth, practicing yoga, Facebook, smoking, reading, playing games, complaining, etc. Good and bad, we act out many habits on auto-pilot everyday. These habits dictate how we use our time which is (until the sci-fi future is reality) a valuable and limited resource. Imagine the possibilities if we hardwire ourselves with positive habits!
So while intentionally creating new habits can be tedious and frustrating at times, if we can hi-jack our human-ness then it can be a kick ass advantage!
There are countless ways to go about creating a new habit.
Here are some of our favourites!
1-Commit to 30 Days
Even if the goal is long term, start by committing to just 30 days.
Sometimes if we commit to too much at one time then we can get overwhelmed. We might not even be conscious of our brains having a commitment-freak-out but this kind of subconscious panic leads to self sabotage. If the brain secretly thinks “I’ll never be able to do that” then it will do everything in its power to prove itself right.
Not to mention that by completing smaller goals we actually begin to develop the habit of completing goals in general.
So start small and punch through any self-doubt with your iron fists of self-determination!
2-Make it a Ritual
Do you know of Pavlov’s dog experiment?
If not then here’s the story in a nutshell. Pavlov would do something specific before giving his dog a treat. Dogs salivate to help when eating so the dog would salivate when he got his treat. But pretty soon Pavlov could just do that same specific thing (the ritual) and the dog would salivate before he even saw the treat!
Humans aren’t much different, although we can get out own treats thanks to those awesome opposable thumbs. We’re suckers for ritual and rituals are great because they really hardwire the habits into us. You can ritualize damn near anything by adding a couple of specific actions before or after it. If there is something you’re trying to tun into a new habit then think about what you can do to add an element of ritual to it.
Personally, I ritualized my writing time by putting the jewelry I was wearing into a small container on my desk and applying orange oil before I started. After doing this a couple times I found I was able to get into the writing groove much faster!
Increase your chances of kicking ass by adding to your support system.
There are lots of ways to do this. This could be a supportive family member, or a friend who is tackling the same challenge as you, or an instructor! Sometimes it’s easier to stay on track if we have someone to talk to about our challenges and victories. And having someone to hold you accountable is priceless.
If you don’t already have some awesome support people then find them! Thanks to the Internet, it’s easy to find like-minded groups of badasses online. Or maybe some helpful courses? Wink, wink?
You might be able to find some in-person groups as well too.
4-Accept Your Human-Ness
If you miss a day or fall off track or whatever… forgive yourself!
It happens. What you don’t want to do is say “I’ve ruined it already so who cares anymore!” This kind of mentality is how yo-yo dieters end up yo-yo-ing. Also it increases the likelihood that we’ll develop the habit of not finishing goals. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
It’s better to cut yourself some slack, pick yourself back up and get back to it.
But let’s take a second to look at the worst case scenario:
What if you do fail at your goals?
This question paralyzes a lot of people.
It scares them so much so that they sometimes don’t even bother tackling their quest in the first place. We all want to be successful and failure seems to be the opposite of that… but even the most successful people fail sometimes. In fact, the people who are most successful fail more often than unsuccessful people!
…But there is one massive difference.
It’s all about how they handle it!
You can either suck at failing or be good at it.
Someone who sucks at failing is going to beat themselves up over it. They’ll feel defeated and embarrassed. Once they fail they’ll want to forget it ever happened.
Someone who is good at failing will analyze what went wrong and learn from their mistakes. They’ll use this information to do better next time. They’ll openly talk about what went wrong in order to get suggestions and help others avoid the same pitfalls, and they never let failure stop them.
Someone who is a failing rockstar will even learn to celebrate their failures because they understand that learning of any kind goes hand in hand with failure. At the end of the day, it’s all experience points we can use to level up into the baddest of badasses!
SO! Failure isn’t scary. The fear of failure is scary.
When failure pops up in our way just SLAP it away!
-Start viewing failure as a tool
-Learn what went wrong
-Arrange a new game plan
-Pick yourself up and move on
(I’m way too proud of that acronym by the way)
Whatever your goal or resolution may be, we wish you the best!
May the force be with you, you majestic badass.
-Lindsay & the Rage Yoga Team